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April 14, 2009
The Cage With The Open Door
April 28, 2009

What Do We Know?


I think that viewpoints are the only “truth” we’ll ever get. Of course the truth is “out there” – or so we can assume, though we never know it for sure, because the only truth we have is in our heads. Everyone sees the truth according to their own perspective and filters, so each “truth” is but a viewpoint, and fallible. The best thing to do is to get as many viewpoints as possible to be able to build a better model of the truth. I do this when I’m searching for the truth in anything – spirituality and diet, for instance – I read advice from thousands of self-professed “experts”. They all speak like they know the truth, and yet it all contradicts each other. In the end, though, your ego is almost completely frozen by this bombardment of different “truths” – it can’t find anything to latch onto and make into a personal religion, like the ego wants to do – and the more natural intelligence can come through and find underlying patterns to go by. The more viewpoints you get, the more you realise the truth “all I know is that I know nothing” – yet you still make choices, based on what feels most likely to be true.

The sufi poet Rumi illustrated this with a story. There were a group of blind hindus who were brought and elephant and asked what sort of animal it was.

One touched the trunk, and was convinced it was like a snake.

The other touched an ear, and said it was like an umbrella.

The other touched a leg, and said it was like a tree trunk.

Who was right? Was anyone wrong? What would be the most true of those statements? If you really wanted to describe an elephant, the best you could do would be to listen to ALL of them for their own individual perpectives, right?

We are all blind – our senses can only get a tiny part of reality, really inadequate. Most people never see ghosts, angels and demons which may be affecting them in subtle ways without their knowing it, for instance; we really are blind! It’s the combinations of many different inputs that can allow us to form a working model. The more inputs the better.


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